Having parents who live in Texas means I'm never short of one of the most famous Texas crops: pecans. They arrive every few months, in giant half-kilo bags no less, and quickly make their way into my baked goods. Pecan pies, spiced sugar pecans, pecan-encrusted chicken - you name it. And now they just happened to fall into these lovely Christmasy treats, made for some friends' festive do. Although officially known as apple cranberry bars, I think I'll rename these "crimbo crumble bars". Incidentally, I can see these working really well with warm custard poured over them :-)
For the apple-cranberry-pecan mixture:
- 3 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinammon
- 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries (craisins)
For the crust and crumble mixture:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 220 grams butter, plus a bit extra for greasing
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon cinammon
- 1 egg
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a 20cm x 20cm square baking dish.
2. For the apple-cranberry-pecan mixture: place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine. Set aside.
3. For the crust and crumble mixture: mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Using an electric mixer or a food processor pulse the flour mixture and butter together until medium-sized crumbs form (you don't want giant hunks of butter, but you don't want sand either!). Add in the egg and pulse again, just until combined.
4. Remove one heaping cupful of the flour mixture and place in a medium bowl with the cinammon and pecans to make the crumble topping. Press the rest of the flour mixture gently into the bottom of the greased baking dish using a spoon or the bottom of a ramekin. Top with the apples, then the rest of the crumble.
5. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the top of the crumble is golden brown. Remove, cool for about an hour, then cut into bars.